Sunday, December 2, 2012

Hadrian's Wall (for reals)

As we continued to wind our way through Northern England, Reed and I became increasingly concerned that we hadn't actually seen/climbed/conquered the actual Hadrian's wall.  It sounds ridiculous, but there are ALOT of decaying stone walls in the fields and it wasn't incredibly well marked.  I maintained it's all the in presentation and that the kiddos would never know the difference.  Reed maintained we could scar them for life and they would never trust us.  As we were congenially discussing it we saw what was, unmistakably, the highest point of Hadrian's Wall.  Only problem-it was freeeezing and rainy and about a mile hike  (uphill both ways).  After further discussion Reed and Matts hopped out to scale the mountain while the littles and I hung out in the heated car. Let's just say-for the record-Reed was right.  Matts LOVED it and was ecstatic over their excursion.  

I'll skip the witty captions and just leave you a very please Matts, a dedicated Dad and some brutal British countryside.  

Saturday, December 1, 2012

Hadrian's Wall-ish

For an 73mi, UNESCO world heritage site that's been around for almost 2000 years, Hadrian's Wall was remarkably hard to find.  After following the signs, forging through flooded roads we pulled into parking lot, bundled up and set out to conquer the wall.  
All Bundled and ready to defend the Empire

The Celt Barbarians

Defending Mithros' temple

A Mini Monster attacking!

Archer's man your stations


The next day we drove up to York and had a fun, if chilly day, exploring the city.  
Preparing to storm York Castle


Enjoying the sunny, windy tower

York Minster

The boys were thrilled to be "cultured"

Actually, they were most thrilled about treats from the Christmas Market that was being set up

Walking some of the most complete wall in England.
We also hit the Jorvik Museum. Maybe our kiddos are just not that interested in Vikings, maybe they were antsy from the car, or maybe Disneyland has ruined any mechanical ride that not's first rate.  But, we flew through it and just enjoyed the city for the rest of the day.  

The Great British Road Trip

Since our first visit to the UK Matts has been begging to see Hadrian's Wall.  It IS the northern most border of the Roman Empire and it IS very Romany. The only problem is that it IS also 5-6hrs from London.  Needless to say, it didn't pan out for the short 4wks we were here in the sunny, warm, beautiful Summer.  But, being the die-hard Roman fans we weren't about to let a little cold and wet deter us.  Plus, all the damp, drizzling rain and frigid wind really contributed to the ambiance. 

With Reed handing off NFC to the new lead, Thanksgiving and 2 birthdays led to Reed taking a WEEK off work and us venturing out to explore this pretty green island where we live.  

First stop...
Nottingham and Sherwood Forest
The home of Robin Hood

The boys acquired the beginnings of our royal armory.

It was a hit!

Sherwood Forest was fantastic and we could've spent hours there.  Unfortunately, around 3:45pm it started to get dark and unfortunately/fortunately there were just too many wonderful places for little boys to hide in.  So, we counted heads and headed off to spend the night in Leeds.
*All credit for this trip has to go to Reed.  For some reason, I just couldn't get my act together and plan/research for it.  Luckily Reed stepped in and it was FANTASTIC!*

We interrupt...

We interrupt our coverage of the Great British Road Trip to bring you an important update. 
Before leaving our boys were initiated into the London Theatre scene.  
It was G's and Reed's B-day.
It was Thriller.
It was Brilliant.

Big Boy!

Guess who potty trained themselves on our GB roadtrip?

I maintain our boys' ease in potty training is the universe making a nominal effort to balance the parental effort scales :)

Happy Birthday Reed!

In the middle of our Great British Road Trip, this guy turned 36.  Not sure if tromping through fields in search of Roman ruins and ching chinging his way through castles was his ideal, but he was a great sport and we thoroughly enjoyed being with him.

One thing is certain; everything is bigger, louder, crazier, more fun and just plain better when he's around.  
Happy Birthday Reed!


I can't believe I almost forgot these!
The Agritourismo we stayed at had horses and it may have been the highlight of Gray's life.  
Not only did he get to help groom them and feed them, he got to have a lesson on Lady.

Turning, Turning

Pleased as Punch

Focusing on wrapping his little legs around Lady :)

G and Miss Roberta

Little C LOVED the horses :)

G and his special friend.

Not too bad.

Working on some turning
What a great day!